Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
George Wither. 1588–1667
  
237. The Lover's Resolution
  
SHALL I, wasting in despair, 
Die because a woman 's fair? 
Or make pale my cheeks with care 
'Cause another's rosy are? 
Be she fairer than the day,         5
Or the flow'ry meads in May, 
  If she think not well of me, 
  What care I how fair she be? 
 
Shall my silly heart be pined 
'Cause I see a woman kind?  10
Or a well disposèd nature 
Joinèd with a lovely feature? 
Be she meeker, kinder, than 
Turtle-dove or pelican, 
  If she be not so to me,  15
  What care I how kind she be? 
 
Shall a woman's virtues move 
Me to perish for her love? 
Or her well-deservings known 
Make me quite forget my own?  20
Be she with that goodness blest 
Which may merit name of Best, 
  If she be not such to me, 
  What care I how good she be? 
 
'Cause her fortune seems too high,  25
Shall I play the fool and die? 
She that bears a noble mind, 
If not outward helps she find, 
Thinks what with them he would do 
That without them dares her woo;  30
  And unless that mind I see, 
  What care I how great she be? 
 
Great, or good, or kind, or fair, 
I will ne'er the more despair; 
If she love me, this believe,  35
I will die ere she shall grieve; 
If she slight me when I woo, 
I can scorn and let her go; 
  For if she be not for me, 
  What care I for whom she be?  40
 
 
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